Our imagination can help us sense the world in a different way. We all need those special places where we can see more than the surface reality; places where we can be creative in our thinking and enjoy the day in a relaxed way.
Friends of Newton Park, led by its chair Jean Austin, have seen such a place become a reality in Chimney Park. Located behind the Newton County Mental Health Facility and the Covington branch of the New County Library, Chimney Park is a peaceful urban woodland for a variety of community events that encourage the use of one’s imagination.
This coming December we will see the ninth production of “Twilights in Chimney Park” where thousands of lights help trigger the spirit of the season. The park will be filled with carolers and story tellers helping us all “imagine”.
Another example of how the Park is a stage for imagination was the “Bark for Life” held on April 16. Hosted by Relay for Life team from the Covington First United Methodist Church, events during Bark for Life included the annual Mutt Show and a blessing of the animals.
A great example of the creative use of imagination at the bark in the park was “the look-alike contest. This found some entries where the owner and dog had a resemblance to each other or where two dogs looked a like. Funds raised from the Bark for Life will go to the Newton County Relay for Life. This year’s relay will climax on the evening of April 29 at the Church of Covington. The Relay for Life effort reaches across our land and is a challenge to imagine a world free of cancer.
The Annual “Fairy Houses at Chimney Park” will be Saturday, May 7, 2016, from 2-5 p.m. There is a variety of activities for this very unique day. Many will come in costume, especially the young children. They may be fairies, or princesses, or Peter Pans. And it is not just the young but some young adults and adults will dress up as well.
One way the imagination truly comes alive is in the building of the fairy houses. You are encouraged to build a model and bring it with you or to build on site. To be completely transparent, I did not interview any fairies to write this column, so I would say, you create what you think would attract a fairy or fairies to set up shop in your fairy house. The only limit is your imagination.
As you come to the park on May 7, you will have the opportunity to stroll through the Fairy House Village and see what others imagined. Children are also encouraged to journey down the Fairy Tunnel. There will also be arts and crafts to encourage the creativity of imagination.
Another activity of the day is archery. All ages will be able to fire arrows at bales of hay. Also there will be the Bubble Man. He creates bubbles big enough for you to get in and walk in the bubble.
The cost for admission for this special afternoon is $5 for everyone, with those under 2-years-old being free.
The community has been very busy getting the park ready for this May event. From their festival this past December, the Newton Festival of Trees donated $14,643.48 for improvements around the foundation of the Martin-Patterson House. The work on the area where the house stood will include sidewalks and a performance area near the chimney.
Another example of community involvement was the pavers donated by the builders of the Miracle League. These were left after they finished their work on the field for the Miracle League. This is a fitting use for them since the start of Chimney Park was a vision of building an outdoor sanctuary for families with children having special needs. It remains faithful to that mission but has expanded to be a “Park with Heart” for all people.
The Satsuki Garden Club donated funds to build the columns that will help those coming to the park envision the old farm house. Steve Fuss, a member of the park’s board, designed the columns. They are being built by Hopi Inc. The goal is to have the columns in place for the May 7 event. Visitors will be invited to use their imaginations as they step back into past decades.
Come out on May 7 and see again this very special place come alive as we encourage ourselves and our neighbors to use their imaginations in very creative ways.